TVGuide.com: What's it like for you to watch Concerts from Hell now?
Richard Lewis: The thing about those shows is that when I watch them closely, I realize that I developed more into a storyteller over these last 10 years, even though I love writing jokes. What I saw in these early specials is literally hundreds and hundreds of one-liners that I'm really proud of, that are part of the history and craft of stand-up. That really makes me feel like a comedian.
TVGuide.com: Between you, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Larry David and many others, Curb Your Enthusiasm boasts some great stand-ups. But who's the best?
Lewis: We don't judge. We all have very different styles. But to this day, Larry David denies being a fan of mine. He once came up to me at a club and called me "Mr. Lewis." To this day he denies it, and it really p---es me off.
TVGuide.com: When did you and Larry first meet?
Lewis: We met at a very famous sports camp called Camp All-America, in upstate New York, when we were 13. [Larry] was one of the worst parts of the summer; I hated this guy. If people find him annoying as an adult, they would have found him suffocating as an adolescent. Twelve years later, I was a comedian and he came into the Improv. He started doing stand-up and was unbelievable. We ended up becoming best friends.
TVGuide.com: When did it dawn on you that you had known each other as kids?
Lewis: At one point, I looked in his eyes and it was almost like a horror film. Instead of Rosemary's Baby, it was "Larry David's Baby." I looked deep into his eyes and said, "I hate you for some reason." It was like a gothic thing. He got really spooked out and was like, "What are you talking about?" and I said, "I don't know. I hate you for some reason." Then we sat down at the bar and retraced our childhood and it led to Camp All-America. I said, "Wait, you're that Larry David?" and we almost came to blows just like we do on the show.
TVGuide.com: What can we expect from the new season of Curb?
Lewis: Let me just say this: I've had trouble sleeping since we wrapped. This is unlike any other season. [Larry] has topped himself. Of the four seasons, this is a potpourri of such Larry David darkness that it touches every aspect of his warped brain. It's almost like he had a Jewish opium dream.
TVGuide.com: Will people look at Richard Lewis the same after this season?
Lewis: They will like me even more and feel even more sympathy for me thanks to Mr. David. When the show begins to pick up its dark momentum, I will be able to go on HBO On Demand and I will scare myself on demand every night for the rest of my life. That's what he has done to me this season.